It’s the end of the year already! I hope everyone’s Christmas was wonderful. My holiday went by so quickly that I only got to reenact Elf scenes twice instead of the preferred half-a-dozen times.
2013 is hours away and I am inundated with “Best of 2012” lists. I adore compilations and montages of any sort so the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a thrill for me as I relive the year in pictures, the year in books, the moments that restored our faith in humanity, and basically anything else on this website.
If you will indulge me, I would like to give you two of my Top 5 lists of 2012. (Items listed are in no particular order.)
Top 5 Meals
· Momofuku Ko, NYC – I treated Robbie on his 30th birthday to dinner at David Chang’s fine-dining establishment. With only 12-seats in the restaurant, and no menu, it was an intimate dinner full of surprises. And shaved fois gras. Who knew you could shave fois gras.
· Parm, NYC – We ate here several times this year as it is one of our more frequently visited restaurants. The food is delicious and affordable and the atmosphere makes me feel like I’m cooler than I really am (mainly because they play a lot of Tribe Called Quest and Rick Ross songs that I am able to recognize).
· Daniel, NYC – Our two-year wedding anniversary was destined to be a special one when we snagged reservations here. Even though we were on the outskirts of the dining room, the fact that Chef Daniel Boulud made an appearance outside of the kitchen was thrilling and the extra dessert in celebration of our anniversary shows they know how to make someone feel special. Or just me.
· Tosaka’s, Newton, NC – After a year in NYC, I have yet to find a restaurant like Tosaka’s. I ate here every time I came home. Someone needs to tell me where I can find teriyaki chicken, rice, sweet carrots and unlimited shrimp sauce in the 212 (I’ll even take the 718).
· Fatty Cue, NYC – Soon after Hurricane Sandy, and after my second straight week of working from home, I was getting a tad stir crazy. We decided to join in the #DineOutNYC movement one Saturday night and ventured downtown to Fatty Cue, a BBQ joint with an Asian flare. It was great to get out and support restaurants that were closed for over a week post-hurricane and my tweet about that meal was one of the three retweets I got this year – proving Joey’s theory that there is no selfless good deed (Friends reference – The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS).
Top 5 Moments
· Duke/UNC Basketball - In March, we went to watch the Duke vs. Carolina basketball game in Brooklyn with our UNC friends, Kate and Tom. After an intense 39 minutes of basketball, the game winning shot by Austin Rivers was one of the most emotional and euphoric endings to a basketball game that I had ever seen. Robbie showed more emotion that night than I think I had ever seen as he ran screaming up and down the barroom floor causing some hipster to come up to him and say “I don’t even know you but I want to give you a hug in congratulations.” I think his pure, ecstatic response converted a few Brooklyn-ites into Duke fans.
· Adrienne’s birthday - I spoke of that day here, but it must be included since it was such an exciting moment when I learned that there was another female Mullinax in the world.
· Jazz Club Night – One random Tuesday evening Robbie and I ventured to Dizzy’s Jazz Club, a part of the Lincoln Center Jazz Center. We spent a lovely two and a half hours listening to Morgan James (from Godspell!) sing Nina Simone. Although we may have been the youngest people there, it was pretty awesome and, if you buy this cd, you may be able to hear my ‘Amen!’ in the background when she sings ‘Save Me.’
· Visit to Seattle – My job had their annual meeting in Seattle this year and I was able to finally visit my west coast relatives in their hometown. My mom accompanied me and we had a wonderful few days seeing the sites with my aunt and uncle and cousin. They were patient with us as we constantly mispronounced Mount Ranier and while I wrecked havoc on the monorail.
· Life Events of Friends – 2012 welcomed multiple weddings and babies into the lives of some of my closest friends (one needs only to look at 1/10th of my Facebook News Feed at any given moment to see what I’m talking about). Many of them I got to celebrate with in person but others I relied on social media and emails to see the good news. Seeing all of them so happy was a wonderful moment indeed.
Here’s to a wonderful 2013! Let's all shine bright like a diamond for the new year!
From Pampered Chef All the Best
These are perfect to take along with you to your New Year’s party. They are incredibly easy to make and are enjoyed by pretty much anyone with tastebuds. Most people can’t resist small versions of anything, much less mini-pecan pies with the word ‘tassie’ in their name.
½ cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan halves (chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and cream cheese in a standing mixer until well blended. Add flour. Mix until a soft dough forms. Form a tablespoon of the mix into 1-inch balls and place them into the cups of a mini-muffin pan. Using your fingers, press the dough into each cup until it covers the bottom and slightly up onto the sides of the wells. In a separate bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and stir in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Add pecans. Fill each shell with filling just until full (do not overfill). Bake 20 or 25 minutes or until the tassies are a light golden brown color. Let cool in pan for several minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.